Worried About Lockdown? Us Too.

For those of you who read my blog on a regular basis (shout out to Mum and Dad), will know that this blog is all about promoting the mental wellbeing of my readers by offering inspiring real life content and motivational pieces.

In the flesh, I’m no different. Unsatisfied unless I’ve done something productive in my day, I try and encourage mental wellbeing in both myself and my partner Darren. However, sometimes I need help and Darren, his sister Louise and my family have all been there to support me in this difficult time.

It goes to show that everyone needs help from time to time and just because your friend or family member seems to have their life in order, things may not always be as peachy as they appear.

I have worries and concerns everyday about a whole host of things, mainly financial due to losing my full time job as a product lister for an eCommerce brand, but I do my best to plod through. We deal with the hand we’re dealt and although sometimes it feels like a lot of others have landed on their feet where I keep stumbling and falling over, I keep moving forward because that’s all I can do.

However dark things may seem at the moment, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Watching Darren progress at learning the ukulele and seeing the chord progression finally click in his brain yesterday was super encouraging and I am so proud of him.

It’s definitely true that other people’s energies reflect onto you and vice versa and as we carry on like the good Brits we are, I do feel hopeful, regardless of my worries. We will return to our new normal one day but for now, we should be making the best of things.

Things will have a habit of working themselves out, we just have to believe it so.

Until next time.

Battling Negative Emotions Over Christmas

There’s a lot to be said about negative emotions, how they aren’t productive, how feeling them won’t change facts. However, negative emotions can be a great way to reflect on our lives, even when we don’t feel like it.

When we’re talking about negative emotions in this article we’re focusing on feelings of deep sadness or a bubbling and/or festering aggression towards a person, or a circumstance.

When we’re upset or angry, we tend to spiral in the same way which is why some of us end up crying when we’re angry or shouting when we’re sad. It’s during these times we can seemingly only see the bad things in life or the negative in people. However, noticing this behaviour is possibly the best route to self improvement.

If we learn to notice patterns when we start feeling these negative emotions then we can learn what triggers us and once we know what triggers us we can then learn to deal with it. Triggers can include everything, from the way someone taps their fingers on a table, to opening your bank account and realising you had less money than you thought.

Triggers are often part of a larger story.

If someone’s tapping finger is frustrating you to no end then its probably going to stretch a bit deeper than the surface noise. This frustration could be because you might dislike the person doing the tapping. Although, this sounds like a catch 22 as without delving deeper into your own psychosis, the cycle of finger tapping/ disliking anything this person does will continue on and on until the inevitable snap.

A better route would be to assess why this person is frustrating you. Is there a deeper reason within yourself which is causing this emotion?

The honest truth of it all is that nobody likes to take the blame for anything and without training your brain, this is no different in circumstances where it is you Vs you. For example, in the previous scenario, disliking a person could be a projection of parts of yourself you aren’t keen on.

Bob, your finger tapping work colleague, chats a lot about his terrible mother in law at work, and everything that creeps out of his seedy little mouth is negative. It’s his down trodden behaviour which puts you down in the dumps and makes the little things he does do annoy you.

However, as soon as you leave the office, you’ll be chatting your partner’s ear off about the terrible day you’ve had and suddenly you’re just as bad as Bob.

Hands up, I’ve done this many a time before and in the words of Karl Pilkington, sometimes we do need a good moan to make ourselves feel better. Yet there is a line, and it’s important to notice when we’ve crossed it in order to improve ourselves.

This Christmas time, a lot of people are feeling down in the dumps or frustrated.

It’s this time of year which is so important for us to look after our mental health and the mental health of those around us. By paying more attention to the attitudes of those around us and to our own behavioural traits, we can hope to better not only our own lives but the lives of friends who need positive mental encouragement.

Let’s start a conversation. Join me on Facebook @theroamblogger as we discuss the best ways to keep a positive mental attitude this Christmas time.

Until next time.

The Life Of A Career Woman: Hectic Schedules 🤯

For the past couple of weeks my calendar has exploded, making me feel like one of the most in demand people in the East Sussex area. I’m not and I’m only exaggerating for emphasis but I, like many others in this world, am struggling to maintain a healthy work/life balance as my life is missing one vital element: time to breathe.

From the moment I wake up to the time my head hits the pillow I am rushed off my feet. For starters I get an estimated six hours of sleep a night which is not ideal as I do love my sleep and it’s proven that less sleep can actually negatively impact your day as much as too much sleep can.

From the word go, I am rushing to get myself ready and in the car, opting to put makeup on when I reach the office instead of wasting precious time at home.

In an ideal world I’d have a driver and a PA to reduce my stress levels but who has the money, am I right?

Enough is enough. Stress is one of the largest killers across the globe, a preventable affliction brought on by an over abundance of empathy and the unwillingness to say no or disappoint people.

I work a 45 hour week roughly, and have spent an estimated additional 10+ hours on top of that designing logos for my friend’s new cat café opening in Eastbourne in the autumn, as well as running my blog (which, apologies, has been slacking lately). Across my weekends I am out and about constantly, socialising and recharging my extroverted batteries.

It’s safe to say that I’m exhausted.

So I have decided to manage my time better and allow time for myself. I am going to allow for an evening a week, or even two, where I can just sit on the sofa in my most comfortable pyjamas, listen to the ambient Dave Brubeck and relax, without worrying about anything else.

And this is the most effective way to reduce my stress. Not yoga, not mimosas with my girlies, or anything else. In order to relax, I personally need to take a step away from everything, shut off and be Kirsty, if only for a couple of hours.

How do you manage your hectic schedules? Let me know in the comments below or reach out to me on any of my socials (linked on the header of this website).

Until next time.

Stress, Motivation & Shaping Your Life

Life, at the moment, seems hectic for everyone I speak to. Whether it’s because you’re a single socialite with plenty to do and people to see or you’re a full time mummy who keeps forgetting which days to take your kids to the opticians, we all have stressful activities which are filling our days, leaving us little or no time for ourselves.

However, stress is good in the right dosage.

Stress gives us motivation to get things done. It forces us to learn to prioritize, and can move us in the right directions when we’re undecided or sitting on the fence about something.

Too much stress, however, causes us physical and emotional pain and can impact others around us when we lash out.

I have experienced stress and even have been treated for anxiety in the form of counselling and I would recommend anyone going through a stressful time speak to their doctor about arranging a consultation.

Talking through how I was feeling to friends and family was one thing, but talking to an unbiased professional about my worries and concerns made me put them into perspective as what was being said wasn’t being thrown back at me by all sorts of pot stirring gossip queens.

I had a tough time with one of my exes and it took me a while to get over the situation I’d put myself in. I felt like I’d hit rock bottom: I’d had to move back to my parents home after living in my own house, taken a lower paid job in a well known supermarket, and had no friends in the area to visit, the closest was two hours away. I felt utterly useless but I knew I wanted to better myself.

Today I live in my own flat in Eastbourne, have a job using skills I hadn’t previously used professionally, and have an abundance of friends who I have made off my own back.

My secret is simple, have hope for a better future.

If you’re someone in a bad place right now, look forward to the future and imagine your perfect life. Maybe your perfect life is traditional: a mortgage, a family, a pet, or maybe you’re looking for something a bit different from life, maybe you want to be a full time traveller. Either way, establish your goals and think of ways to work towards them.

Instead of focusing on the negative: I.e I’m single and I’m never going to find love, think about what you can do to change that. For example, I’ve never tried dancing classes, I’ll go and meet new people and maybe one of those people might introduce me to someone I can have a romantic encounter with. Or for those of you who want to improve your career situation, instead of “woe is me, I hate my job and can’t wait to retire” you could look at an evening class doing something you have a hobby in, apply for other jobs, attend job fairs or look at starting your own business.

What I’m getting at is hope is what inspires us, stress motivates us, and our hobbies shape us. If we can discover what it means to be us then we can discover what makes us happy and then, we can change our busy days into productive days which, trust me, make you feel 100 times better when you lay your head down at night.

Until next time.

Living In Limbo & Starting Again

I said to my friend that I felt like I was living in an emotional limbo of late. It’s the equilibrium of this new chapter which I’m learning to accept but feeling that unwillingness to dive in and move forward with it. Yet I know it’s just a matter of time and I need to give myself a chance to grieve and love myself, however I’m a tough cookie and it’s annoying me that I’m still hashing up stories like word vomit. I can’t help myself but it happens and the minute I talk about my feelings I’m overwhelmed with this sickness, like ‘for fucks sake girl, just get over it’.

But regardless of all this, I am moving forward and today is turning out to be a good day as I’ve caught up with a whole bunch of things I’ve been meaning to do and I’ve had the additional cash to refresh my home because I haven’t been going out as much.

It’s important when you’re feeling crappy to do the things that make you happy, rediscover what makes you tick. For me this is writing, making music, drawing. It’s discovering new podcasts to listen to while I do my chores, or spending time with friends that I hadn’t done prior.

This week I’ve also spent time spring cleaning. I’ve rearranged my furniture in my flat, which involved dragging an incredibly heavy bookcase (yes mum, I emptied it first), as well as chucked a load of clothes which weren’t being worn, yet were cluttering up my already tiny flat.

I’m lucky to have such a wonderful crowd around me. I have people checking up on me, helping me around the house, and generally there for me when I need to vent and I am so utterly grateful for them. However, I don’t want to lose them by repeating the same worries and the same concerns again and again and there’s always that niggling feeling at the back of my head that the person I want the most comfort from is the last person who can give it to me.

So yes, I have my down days but I’m at the stage now where I’m done, for the most part, talking about what’s hurting as it’s all been said before and nothing new is going to come from repeating the same old news.

However, this is incredibly difficult when you bump into your ex’s family while out shopping for self help books as they want to discuss it. Regardless, it was lovely that the family haven’t just disowned me as it would have been incredibly easy for them to just ignore me. I’m grateful for small mercies as sometimes it’s hard to see myself as the victim so when everyone is apologising to me or telling me I’ll be ok, I am suffering with imposter syndrome, as if somehow they’re talking about someone else, and soon they’ll realise I’m a bad guy in the equation.

Obviously, there have been people who have used my situation and my new found singledom as an excuse to get “extra friendly” and frankly, I find it weird that suddenly knowing a girl is single is seen as an opportunity. You shouldn’t approach a crying girl with romantic or sexual propositions just because suddenly she’s available, but that’s a different topic entirely.

This week has been a week of self reflection and retrospective thought. It’s been a bit of a turning point for me as I’ve come to the realisation that I’m a massive softie and some people have used me as a stepping stone to move onto other things. However, it has also shown me that I am a complete and utter lover and even when faced with opportunity for anger or hatred, I find I love people better and I just need to show myself some of that unconditional love and take care of myself a bit more.

How do you look after yourself? Do you treat yourself to new clothes? Maybe you have a tub of ice cream in the freezer you bust out when you’re feeling sad. Or maybe you treat yourself to a home spa day? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time.

How To Sleep Better With Anxiety

Do you struggle to sleep when there’s complete silence? Turns out, I do too.

Ever since I was little I have always been surrounded by nighttime noise, as a child I’d hear my father’s ferocious snore through the walls of my parents home, as a young adult I house shared with people who loved to stay up late listening to music, watching films or playing musical instruments. As an adult that now lives on her own, I find my nights are quiet and although I sometimes have the company of my snore-y boyfriend Jordan, most of the time is spent in silence.

I wouldn’t say it was unnerving to be attempting to sleep in silence, but I would say that silence is deafening. It’s like the silence causes my brain to go into sensory overload and begin working overtime, even though quiet time is meant to do the opposite.

However, one sure fire way to send me to sleep is to put on background rain sounds (I found a really good Spotify playlist called Night Rain) or some other white noise sound effect.

So it turns out that this is a symptom for those with anxiety or other mental struggles as our brains crave sensory input and in doing something as simple as sleeping with a fan on, or having rain sounds in the background causes our brain to focus on something other than our thoughts.

So on further reading, I discovered pink noise. Sounds much nicer than white noise and apparently is meant to cause deeper sleep in comparison to those listening to white noise. Fun fact- pink noise actually sounds like rain so it turns out I was choosing the better option anyway!

For those of you struggling to sleep, it may be worth trying an ambient sound effect like the ones listed above. You may just get the best sleep you’ve had in a while.

Until next time.